Back

    Manhattan Project Memories

    Listen to Dimas Chavez's conversation with National Security Research Center Archivist-Historian Madeline Whitacre.

    By Brye Steeves | August 29, 2022

    Manhattan Project
    Chavez 1@2x
    Dimas Chavez grew up in Los Alamos after his father accepted a job at the wartime Lab.

    Chavez shares his memories of living in wartime Los Alamos and they discuss race, culture, and heritage.

    He remembers selling the evening newspaper on the corner and always getting a tip (a nickel or a dime) from legendary physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer.

    He remembers his mom trading cooking lessons for his English lessons from the scientists' wives.

    He remembers being segregated from white children when cake was served at parties. He ate his slice outside.

    Dimas Chavez moved to Los Alamos as a child in 1942 when his father got a job as a heavy-duty operator in support of the wartime Labs top-secret science known as the Manhattan Project.

    Chavez Mg3@2x

    Dimas Chavez grew up in Los Alamos after his father accepted a job at the wartime Lab. The photos, right, are from the Los Alamos High School yearbook. 

    Chavez too would go on to work for the lab while he was earning his degree from Eastern New Mexico University. Later, he joined the CIA. Chavez is retired now and lives in Maryland.

    Listen to his conversation with National Security Research Center Archivist-Historian Madeline Whitacre in which Chavez shares his memories of living in wartime Los Alamos and they discuss race, culture, and heritage.  🔎